Nebraska banker ‘pleasantly surprised’ by loan renewal season

A Nebraska banker says excellent yields made for a smoother- than-expected loan renewal season.

A central Nebraska ag banker says loan renewal season has gone much better than he expected.

During a panel discussion at the Nebraska Governor’s Ag Conference in Kearney, Stuart Fox, president of Nebraska State Bank of Broken Bow, was asked about non-performing loans and possible non-renewals.

“That’s a lot easier question to answer than I thought it was going to be a year ago,” Fox said. “Going into the renewal season for this year, we thought it was going to be the most difficult renewal season we’ve had in a long period of time. But we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the renewals we’ve done. We’re not seeing tons of people making profits in the ag sector, but they’re a lot closer to breakeven than we expected.”

Fox said that’s mainly due to excellent crop production.

“The row crop producers, most of them broke even or were very close to breakeven—and some of them showed some profits if they had a good marketing plan,” he said. “The ones that struggled the most—you know, cow-calf guys were okay, but the ones buying calves, feeding them, feeder cattle—those guys really went backwards. So those are the ones where we have the biggest concern.”

Fox said they do not have a single ag loan that is non-performing and only one borrower that they have decided not to renew.

AUDIO: Comments from ag lender Stuart Fox

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